Practicing good oral health means visiting your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and a checkup. While your dentist should always be your go-to doctor for all things regarding your teeth and gums, when a more complicated oral health concern comes up, you may wish to visit an oral surgeon. An oral surgeon specializes in oral and maxillofacial surgery. They specialize in the defects, tissues and disease of the mouth and face area. If you have some more complicated dental issues, consider getting a referral to an oral surgeon for a precise diagnosis and treatment plan.
Identifying And Treating Types Of Oral Cancer
If your dentist or dental hygienist noticed a suspicious lesion in or around your mouth or gum line, you may be referred to an oral surgeon. Changes on the surface of your skin within your mouth could indicate oral cancer. Some signs that could indicate a problem include:
- Chronic sore throat or changes in your voice
- Trouble swallowing
- White or red patches in your mouth or on your tongue
- A lump, bump or thickening of the skin inside your mouth
- A bleeding sore that doesn't heal
- Black or brown discoloration spots inside your mouth
An oral surgeon will examine your mouth and take samples from suspicious areas to have them tested through a pathologist. Treatment may include isolated tissue removal, bone restructure, skin grafting or a referral to an oncologist.
Many times if you have an infected tooth or a tooth that cannot be saved with a root canal or other type of treatment, your dentist will remove the tooth in his office. Not all tooth extractions are simple procedures. Impacted canines, wisdom teeth or teeth that did not erupt from the gum line properly, will need precise care when being removed.
An oral surgeon will carefully remove the tooth and provide proper after care. In some cases, if braces are going to be put on, the surgeon will prepare the area for an orthodontic bracket which will later be used by your orthodontist to set correctional braces in place.
TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorders involve a variety of issues related to your jaw joints. The worst case scenario is that you will experience pain and discomfort when chewing or moving your jaw. An oral surgeon specializes in correcting a multitude of TMJ disorders and conditions to restore pain-free movement in your jaw. This is something your dentist may not be able to do for you.
If you are missing teeth or have periodontal disease, you may be a candidate for dental implants. Dental implants are a permanent replacement for missing teeth. Your new tooth or teeth are permanently placed in your mouth and secured with a titanium anchor within your bone and jaw. This is a type of procedure performed by a qualified oral surgeon.
Your oral surgeon can help reshape your mouth and alleviate pain and other oral health issues. Don't forget about your dentist, you'll still need cleanings and routine exams to stay on top of your dental health. (For more information, contact Russel Bleiler DDS)